Al Bawaba: A Guide to Actually Understanding the Political Impact of AI. “Since their entrance into mainstream political consciousness, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data have been seen a harbinger of either political doom or revolution. Movies, TV series, think pieces and tech reports paint and increasingly grim picture of power being handed over by governments and citizens to amorphous algorithms that govern with no transparency. The most dramatic depiction is the all-out data-driven apocalypse of the Terminator universe, but subtler, more intimate insights into our Data Hell come from Black Mirror, whose episodes shed light on people, relationships and societies that have sacrificed their subjectivity in the name of optimization.” A deep dive with a focus on China.
South China Morning Post: Japanese wartime photos strike a nerve in China. “The release online of 35,000 photographs taken during the Japanese occupation of China between 1936 and 1945 has riled Chinese social media commenters.” I can’t find a link to the photography collection or much other news about it. The collection purportedly came from Kyoto University; I can’t find any announcements on its Web site but I have contacted the site and will update if I get any information.
CNET: Chinese facial recognition company left database of people’s locations exposed. “A Chinese facial recognition company left its database exposed online, revealing information about millions of people, a security researcher discovered. SenseNets, a company based in Shenzhen, China, offers facial recognition technology and crowd analysis, which the company boasted in a promotional video could track people across cities and pick them out in large groups.”
The Verge: Reddit gets a $150 million investment from Tencent and users are posting memes to mock the deal. “Reddit has received a $150 million investment from Tencent, the Chinese tech giant behind WeChat and League of Legends, sparking fears of censorship from Reddit users. The investment was first rumored last week, and led to Reddit users posting photos and memes banned in China in protest of Tencent’s involvement.”
Xinhua Net: Shaanxi’s digital museum attracts views from 122 countries. “A digital museum in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, home to the famous Terracotta warriors, has received more than 2 million page views from over 120 countries since its operation. The online museum digitalizes cultural relics and exhibitions of more than 140 actual museums in the province, which can be accessed by netizens across the world.”
Nikkei Asian Review: Baidu faces popular backlash over promotion of sponsored sites. “China’s search engine Baidu Inc. is facing a wave of public criticism in the world’s largest internet market as users question whether Baidu has abused its monopoly in a country where Google is absent.”
Ubergizmo: Microsoft’s Bing Now Accessible In China Again. “It was previously reported that Microsoft’s Bing had suddenly stopped working in China. It was suggested that it was due to DNS corruption, which apparently is one of the ways that the Chinese government goes about censoring websites in China. However it seems that this could have really been nothing more than just a technical issue.”